Diabetes and cancer are two closely related diseases that can occur not only in isolation from each other but also as a result of one another though usually, diabetes is the initial one to appear. With the amount of past research dedicated to diabetes and cancer, there is a vast amount of literature that implies an association between diabetes and cancer though a definitive answer is still pending. Cancers such as pancreatic, hepatic and colorectal types carry a rise in the probability of diabetes type 1 and 2 from appearing.
Joint research by the American diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society have indicated that the development of diabetes increases the risk of cancer by up to 50%. Naturally, life expectancy is reduced with the presence of both diabetes and cancer, especially due to the cardiovascular harm that can experienced with some forms of cancer treatment regimes. With the alarming rate in which diabetes and cancer correlate, some say diabetes should simply be considered a risk factor for the development cancer.
Scientists believe insulin contributes to the expansion of cancer cells and as a result of the persistently high levels of insulin in diabetes type 2 patients, insulin only adds to the development of cancer. The expansionary nature of cancer cells in turn, induce angiogenesis in order to keep ‘feeding’ its growing presence. Furthermore, because the majority of diabetes type 2 patients are overweight, a cancer fighting hormone called adiponectin is produced in less quantities by adipose tissue as opposed to a healthy or leaner person.
Adipose tissue is usually visualized as static in nature by the average person. Fat is seen as a glob of mass that surrounds our contours under our skin (some with more fat than others). This is simply not the case. What people fail to realize is how alive and active all those fatty cells actually are by damaging our bodies at different levels. The greater the amount of fatty tissue, that is to say, the greater amount of fat outside what is considered normal the more exposed our bodies are to their damaging effects.
Making things more difficult for diabetes patients and the chances of cancer is the fact that some drugs that are prescribed to reduce blood glucose levels actually elevate the patient’s chances of developing cancer. Having said this, the lack of definitive proof of the role these medications have in the birth of cancerous cells does not justify restraining proper medication to manage diabetes, namely, glucose reducing drugs.
Naturally, not all types of cancer are assisted by the presence of diabetes. The types of cancer that can arise from diabetes include bladder cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, renal cancer and hepatic cancer.
If a diabetic patient is deemed sufficiently at risk of developing cancer (factors such as family history, genetics and medical history are considered), the logical suggestion is to decrease, manage and/or control the severity of diabetes via several methods that should be practiced anyway, especially a diagnosed diabetes patient. These would consist of regular screenings for cancer, practicing proper healthy diet behaviors such as consuming enough vegetables and avoiding foods high in the glycemic index, limiting alcoholic drinks, exercising, completely eliminate smoking from daily habits and finally, the reduction cholesterol and glucose levels.